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ANAHEIM ANGELS

Signed OF Patrick Lennon to a minor league contract with a spring training NRI.
[1/30]

Outrighted RHP Mike Freehill to Vancouver (AAA). [2/3]


After snagging Gary Thurman and Damon Mashore, you would have figured that the
Angels were set as far as setting themselves up with good RH-hitting fifth
outfielders. Lennon can be added to the list of people who should be playing
ahead of Cecil Fielder as the regular DH.


ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Signed RHP Gregg Olson to a minor-league contract. [1/31]

Signed RHP Andy Benes to a three-year contract. [2/3]


Adding Benes significantly alters the shape of the D-backs’ rotation, in that
he’ll chew up innings and move Willie Blair, Brian Anderson, and Jeff Suppan
down a notch. Olson’s big bender isn’t doing much besides getting lined into
the gaps, and he still hasn’t regained much control of the stuff he has left
since his injuries. Even so, he may make the team.


BOSTON RED SOX

Signed 2B Jeff Frye to a three-year contract. [2/3]


The phenomenon of giving roster fill multi-year deals is now sitting at three
years, as opposed to the expectation of merely two that was the rule of the day
as recently as December. He’s one of two dozen guys who can play second and are
routinely available as minor league free agents. Frye isn’t a bad player to
have around. What separates him from them is that he’s been willing to play
wherever asked, and sits if he must without griping about it. The Jose
Hernandezes or Mark Bellhorns of the world should take note, bide their time in
whatever part-time rolls their managers fashion for them, and let arbitration
make up the difference.


CHICAGO CUBS

Signed LHP Terry Mulholland to a minor league contract with a spring training
NRI. [2/2]


Ed Lynch caught some flak for not getting anything for Mulholland when he tried
to pass him through waivers last August, but second-guessing aside,
Mulholland’s value is obviously considered to be pretty low. He’s still an
asset on the back end of a rotation, although there are early rumbles that
Mulholland will be in the pen as the second lefty behind Bob Patterson.
Instead, having him will make trading either Kevin Foster or Steve Trachsel
(after his coming arbitration win) more likely, putting Mulholland in the
rotation for a few months, pending the arrival of Kerry Wood. This will also
make room for Rule V pick Alan Mahaffey as the second lefty in the pen, which
in effect means Mahaffey’s inevitable case of Rule V tendinitis for a
month-long rehab/teaching session may wind up being intimately related to
Wood’s progress in Iowa.


CINCINNATI REDS

Signed LHP David West and RHP Mike Walker to minor-league contracts, and
invited West to spring training. [2/2]

Traded SS Yuri Sanchez to the Mets for 1B Roberto Petagine. [2/5]


West is coming off a rough year in Japan, where the nicest thing you can say is
that he was healthy enough to toss 92 innings, while minor league veteran
Walker was a successful long reliever on last year’s Indianapolis squad. Enough
of that kind of roster scrapie, though: Jim Bowden has pulled off a coup in
landing Petagine. Roberto should step right in at 1B and quickly dispel any
whining about the dearly departed Hal Morris. In this context, recent comments
that Dmitri Young is being moved to the OF make more sense, and certainly
insure the Reds’ lineup against Reggie Sanders’ annual health woes.


FLORIDA MARLINS

1B Darren Daulton announced his retirement. [1/30]

Acquired RHP Hector Ramirez from Baltimore for a PTBNL or cash. [2/4]


The Orioles had been trying to slip Ramirez through waivers, only to have the
Yankees enter a claim, so they turned around and made him Florida’s problem. At
this point, he’s getting close to Tim Pugh status in the waiver wire wars.
Meanwhile, hats off for Dutch Daulton, one of the miracles of modern
arthroscopy, and a ton of fun to watch over the years.


HOUSTON ASTROS

Signed SS Luis Rivera to a minor-league contract. [2/5]


Yes, Hubie Brooks’ old caddy will still be terrorizing fans in the Big Easy.


MONTREAL EXPOS

Signed RHPs Shawn Boskie and Mike Campbell and CF Chuck Carr to minor-league
contracts with spring training NRIs, and invited RHP Antonio Armas to spring
training. [2/3]


Boskie can be fun if you like dodging his frequent mistakes in the bleachers,
and Campbell is coming off of arm woes in a failed Japanese excursion. Neither
are representative of the Expos’ old habit of resurrecting struggling veterans,
because people like Pascual Perez or Dennis Martinez or even Jeff Juden had
some track records of success, whereas Campbell and Boskie have failed to
achieve consistent mediocrity. Chuck Carr’s agent deserves a commendation for
putting his man in the right place: with luck, he could wind up as remarkably
fortunate as Otis Nixon.


NEW YORK METS

Traded 1B Roberto Petagine to Cincinnati for SS Yuri Sanchez. [2/5]


Sanchez has an interesting mix of skills for a shortstop, being a lefty with
some pop, but he’s only two years younger than Petagine, and hasn’t escaped
A-ball.


NEW YORK YANKEES

Announced the resignation of GM Bob Watson; named Brian Cashman general
manager. [2/3]


I’m willing to sign on to the “mean old George treats his people badly”
argument to a point, but Bob Watson’s sainthood was being constructed almost
from the moment he stepped off the plane, to the extent that his gratuitous
mistakes were ignored or absolved: the Girardi or Kenny Rogers signings, the
trade for Graeme Lloyd and Pat Listach, let alone coveting people like Mark
Whiten, Charlie Hayes, or David Weathers. If Watson ever stays in one place
long enough, he may finally garner some of the criticism he’s earned for his
work in New York and in Houston, but nailing Steinbrenner is the only game in
town. To put it another way, compared to what Al Rosen had to put up with
twenty years ago, Bob Watson deserved the second-guessing.


SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Purchased the contract of RHP Chris Brock from Fresno (AAA). [1/30]


[splutter mode on]
Fresno… as a native Sacramentan, I still find it a bit odious that …
F-f-f-resno … has a AAA team. Criminy, next thing you know, Lodi or Yuba City
will be in the California League.


SEATTLE MARINERS

Signed RHP Bobby Ayala to a two-year contract. [2/5]


TEXAS RANGERS

Signed RHP Jose Guzman to a minor league contract with a spring training NRI.
[1/30]


Guzman’s dogged comeback saga continues, and in an organization that is happy
to have Tanyon Sturtze and Terry Clark, he’s in the right place to keep on
trying.


TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Signed SS Alex Gonzalez to a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration;
signed DH Jose Canseco to a one-year contract. [2/4]


I like watching Jose Canseco hit, but if I were a paying Jays fan, I’d be
pretty concerned. Tim Johnson is talking tough about how Shannon Stewart is
going to left and Jose Cruz Jr. will be in center, which means that when Carlos
Delgado comes back in June, Mike Stanley won’t have to play first, which means
between Stanley at DH, and a choice of Canseco or Stewart or Shawn Green in the
OF corners, Stewart or Green may be screwed. Rebuilding the ’95 Red Sox, with a
worse supporting cast and no Mo, seems like a bad idea to me.

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